Five Fundamental Tools of Shadow Work
Shadow Work is not simply a healing modality, it’s a way of life, a change in perception and an expansion of consciousness.
It’s a labour of love for thyself, for humanity and for planet earth.
It’s a walk back home into the body, the present moment, and away from everything that gave us a false sense of identity.
Therefore, to really understand exactly who we are, we will have to enter into a deep and profound process to get to know thyself, and to do this we will have to change our perception.
We will have to dissect how we think, how we do, and how we have come to be.
We will have to take a deep look at what we believe and how we behave.
We will have to have to become the objective observer of our own reality, looking from the outside in.
We will have to see, understand and get to know ourselves in a very intimate way, and in a very different light if we are to make the necessary changes to live in a more balanced and healthy way.
The more we engage with shadow work, the more we will heal, the more we will accept ourselves and the more we live our lives according to our own truth.
This shadow work journey into our inner realms is going to take commitment, honesty, integrity, and trust, and we are going to need tools to guide us. Tools to give us a reference point, to analyse and scrutinise without judgement or blame. Tools to help us light the way through the darkness of our very own shadow, soul and psyche.
I use these tools as the five core foundation blocks of shadow work in my own personal process and the women who walk the journey with me through Shadow & Soul Integration Sessions or to empower the feminine through shadow integration work in the Maiden, Mother, Crone Workshop I facilitate. They have been tried and tested over and over again, and the deeper the understanding of them, the richer and more enlightening the journey back home to self.
THE FIVE TOOLS OF SHADOW WORK
SHADOW WORK TOOL 1 – TRIGGERS
Have you ever noticed how many times a day you get triggered? The people you encounter, the situations you find yourself in, the conversations, the remarks, the judgements that piss you off?
a) Instances we are exposed to in our everyday life which trigger an emotional and a physical response within us.
b) Communications from the body signalling where there is an imbalance – on an emotional, physical, spiritual, sexual, or mental level.
c) Presenting themselves when something happens or doesn’t happen in accordance with our perceived expectations.
d) Pointers to make us aware there is something in our unconscious, something buried deep down which is asking for our attention and looking for resolution.
Triggers will cause us to:
a) React in an unconscious manner – behaving, acting or thinking in a certain way.
b) Become ensnared in our monkey mind and caught in the repetitive drama which is sure to follow, not realising it has absolutely nothing to do with what triggered us in the first place, but everything to do with us!
c) Get lost in the drama, using our vital energy to prove our point.
d) Protect ourselves from an illusion, to gain status and support, to receive conditional love and care, to manifest from fear and manipulation, or to have our needs of safety, security or stability met.
SHADOW WORK TOOL 2 – PROJECTION
We see the world through our own shadow tinted glasses, and that world is how we have been conditioned to see it through the eyes of the wounding, trauma and conditioning we have been exposed to. How we project ourselves into the world gives us a clue about what we need to own and heal, and the unconscious patterns we have created which are looking for resolution.
Projection works in:
1) How we see and judge others behaviours and experiences. The ‘good’ and the ‘bad’.
2) How we criticise and blame everything and everybody in our external world for all that is wrong in our own lives and in the world at large.
3) How we expect our expectations to be met.
4) How we shame and manipulate others into conformity and our deluded way of righteous being.
Projection has its roots in acceptance and responsibility. What do we not accept in others? In the status quo? In the world at large? What we do not accept, we do not own, and ownership is everything. Ownership is what makes us truly our own sovereign.
SHADOW WORK TOOL 3 – POLARITIES
We are all made up of polarities, two sides of the coin, the yin and yang that makes up our existence. We are both masculine and feminine, light and dark. There cannot be one without the other.
Yet we live in a world where our dualistic nature is capitalised upon creating and feeding the illusion of our separation. We have lived so long with this systematic brainwashing, we have come to accept it as the norm, a norm which keeps us separated from self and from each other.
We have lived our lives been labelled and defined good and bad, beautiful and ugly, fat and thin, controlled and chaotic, rich and poor etc. – two sides of the coin, yet loaded with so much emphasis on how we should and should not be.
How we have been conditioned by familial, social, cultural, economic, educational, political and religious structures to keep us in line and playing by the rules.
Rules as defined by others, rather than rules defined by natural law.
When one side of the polarity is out of balance, we over-identify with one side of the polarity, it becomes a dominant aspect we project out into the world. The other side of the polarity becomes buried in our shadow. Both get triggered in our everyday reality to capture our attention so we may finally own it, embrace it, love it, learn from it, and bring it back into balance.
SHADOW WORK TOOL 4 – MIRRORS
Everything we engage with in our day-to-day life is a mirror of our inner world. As above so below, as within so without. Without the mirror of the world we live in, we are not able to see and feel into the deeper realms of our shadow, soul and psyche. We are not able to know thyself.
What we are manifesting in our everyday lives, is a mirror of:
1) What is in or out of balance on the inside.
2) What we see in other people that triggers an emotional response within us, reflects back what we are not owning, nor seeing in ourselves.
The mirror works not only for aspects we may find uncomfortable, unwelcoming and undesirable but also the desirable, wishful, and coveting too.
Our personal power, for example, is buried in our shadow realm, and we can use the mirror to reflect back to us the aspects of our power do we not own. What we see in others, is a reflection of who we truly are and who we are not.
SHADOW WORK TOOL 5 – MANIFESTATION
We manifest our reality from our unconscious. Patterns, beliefs and behaviours, and thought processes which have been created from wounding, trauma and conditioning we have been exposed to.
Have you noticed how many times you keep ending up in the same relationships, with people, partners, food, alcohol, work, money etc. that have the same energy, the same vibration?
This is our unconscious manifesting them, to trigger deep, underlying, unprocessed emotions associated with the original wounding so we may find resolution, to make sense of what happened and find expression for the emotions.
The more we engage with the process of looking at what exactly we are manifesting in our lives, the more adept we become at seeing the patterns woven through. We start to see how those limiting patterns, behaviours, thought forms, beliefs, have a thread which will take us right back to the root. Back to the moment where it started.